Cancer mortality for all cancers combined

Deaths

Deaths from cancer, 2014, UK

Proportion of UK deaths

Cancer causes more than a quarter of all deaths, 2014-2015, UK

 

Trend over time

Cancer mortality rates have decreased by 14% since the early 1970s, UK

Cancer (all types combined) is the most common cause of death in the UK for males and females combined (2014, 2015).[1-3] Cancer accounts for more than a quarter (28%) of all deaths in the UK.[1-3]

In males, cancer is the most common cause of death in the UK as a whole (31% of all male deaths), and in the UK countries separately (31% in England and Wales, 30% in Scotland, 32% in Northern Ireland). In females, cancer is the most common cause of death in the UK as a whole (26% of all female deaths), and in England and Wales (25% of all female deaths) and Northern Ireland (28%), but it is the second most common cause of death in Scotland (26%).[1-3]

In 2014, there were 163,444 cancer deaths in the UK: 86,540 (53%) in males and 79,904 (47%) in females, giving a male:female ratio of around 11:10.[4-6] The crude mortality rate Open a glossary item shows that there are 272 deaths for every 100,000 males in the UK, and 234 for every 100,00 females. This reflects the sex differences in cancer incidence (higher in men than women) and survival (higher in women than men).

The European age-standardised (AS) mortality rates Open a glossary item are significantly higher in Scotland compared with the other constituent countries of the UK and higher in Wales compared with England for both males and females.[4-6] Rates are significantly higher in Northern Ireland compared with England for females only.[4-6]

All Cancers (C00-C97), Number of Deaths, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Mortality Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2014

England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK
Male Deaths 71,449 4,763 8,146 2,182 86,540
Crude Rate 266.9 313.1 313.7 241.7 272.2
AS Rate 334.7 352.4 384.8 343.6 340.1
AS Rate - 95% LCL 332.3 342.4 376.5 329.2 337.9
AS Rate - 95% UCL 337.2 362.4 393.2 358.0 342.4
Female Deaths 62,911 4,208 7,694 2,091 76,904
Crude Rate 228.4 267.9 279.7 223.0 234.4
AS Rate 229.2 245.3 273.2 249.1 234.4
AS Rate - 95% LCL 227.4 237.9 267.1 238.4 232.8
AS Rate - 95% UCL 231.0 252.7 279.3 259.7 236.1
Persons Deaths 134,360 8,971 15,840 4,273 163,444
Crude Rate 247.4 290.1 296.2 232.2 253.0
AS Rate 272.8 289.1 318.6 286.6 278.0
AS Rate - 95% LCL 271.4 283.1 313.6 278.0 276.6
AS Rate - 95% UCL 274.3 295.1 323.6 295.2 279.3

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits Open a glossary item around the AS rate Open a glossary item.

References

  1. Office for National Statistics. Deaths registered in England and Wales: 2015. Available from https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregistrationsummarytables/2015. Accessed July 2016.
  2. National Records of Scotland. 2015 Births, Deaths and Other Vital Events - Preliminary Annual Figures. Available from http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/general-publications/births-deaths-and-other-vital-events-preliminary-annual-figures/2015. Accessed July 2016.
  3. Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Registrar General Northern Ireland Annual Report 2014. NISRA; Belfast: 2015.
  4. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregistrationsummarytables/previousReleases.
  5. Data were provided by the Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/vital-events-reference-tables.
  6. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nisra.gov.uk/demography/default.asp2.htm
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Mortality rates for all cancers combined have decreased by 14% in the UK since the early 1970s.[1-3] However this includes a period of stable (males) or increasing (females) rates until the early 1990s, with decreases since this time. Decreasing mortality is largely due to improved survival – and is despite a small increase in incidence rates.

For males, European age-standardised (AS) mortality rate Open a glossary item remained stable between 1971-1973 and 1990-1992, then decreased by 26% between 1990-1992 and 2012-2014 – leaving rates in 2012-2014 22% lower those in 1971-1973. For females, rates increased by 11% between 1971-1973 and 1990-1992, then decreased by 17% between 1990-1992 and 2012-2014 – leaving rates in 2012-2014 8% lower those in 1971-1973.[1-3]

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2003-2005 and 2012-2014), AS mortality rates for all cancers combined have decreased by 8% for males and females combined, with a larger decrease for males (10%) than for females (7%).[1-3]

All Cancers (C00-C97), European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, UK, 1971-2014

ASR calculated with ESP2013. Not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregistrationsummarytables/previousReleases.
  2. Data were provided by the Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/vital-events-reference-tables.
  3. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nisra.gov.uk/demography/default.asp2.htm.
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An estimated 519,000 cancer deaths have been avoided in the UK between the 1980s and 2010.[1]

The number of cancer deaths averted in males (more than 352,000) is more than twice the number of females (more than 166,000). The number of avoided cancer deaths is estimated by comparing the actual number of deaths observed with the expected number of deaths that would have occurred if the peak mortality rates had remained constant at their peak levels (for men in 1984 and for women in 1989).

All Cancers (C00-C97), Numbers of Actual and Expected Deaths and Estimated Avoided Deaths, UK, 1975-2010

The expected number of cancer deaths is calculated by applying the five-year age-specific cancer death rates in the peak year for age-standardised cancer death rates for males and females to the age-specific populations in the each year up to 2010. This is the number of expected deaths in each year if mortality rates had not decreased and remained at peak levels. The observed number of deaths is the actual number of deaths that have occurred. The difference between the number of expected and observed deaths in each age group and year for males and females is then summed to obtain the total number of cancer deaths avoided since the peak in age-standardised mortality rates.[2]

References

  1. Deaths avoided calculated by the Statistical Information Team at Cancer Research UK, 2013.
  2. Method set out in Siegel R, Ward E, Brawley O, Jemal A., Cancer statistics, 2011: the impact of eliminating socioeconomic and racial disparities on premature cancer deaths. CA Cancer J Clin. 2011 Jul-Aug;61(4):212-36.
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All cancers combined mortality rates are projected to fall by 15% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 280 deaths per 100,000 people by 2035.[1] This includes a larger decrease for males than for females.

For males, all cancers combined European age standardised (AS) Open a glossary item mortality rates in the UK are projected to fall by 18% between 2014 and 2035, to 330 per 100,000 by 2035.[1] For females, rates are projected to fall by 15% between 2014 and 2035, to 239 per 100,000 by 2035.[1]

All Cancers (Excluding Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer, and Including Benign and Uncertain or Unknown Behaviour Brain, other Central Nervous System and Intracranial Tumours: ICD-10 C00-C97 excluding C44, plus D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, and D44.3-D44), Observed and Projected Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, by Sex, UK, 1979-2035

 

It is projected that 212,546 deaths from all cancers combined (116,585 in males, 95,961 in females) will occur in the UK in 2035.

References

  1. Smittenaar CR, Petersen KA, Stewart K, Moitt N. Cancer Incidence and Mortality Projections in the UK Until 2035. Brit J Cancer 2016.

About this data

Data is for: UK, 1979-2014 (observed), 2015-2035 (projected). ICD-10 codes all cancers combined C00-C97 excluding C44, plus D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5.

Projections are based on observed incidence and mortality rates and therefore implicitly include changes in cancer risk factors, diagnosis and treatment. The definition of 'all cancer types/sites combined' used here differs from that typically used in mortality statistics on this website: benign and uncertain or unknown behaviour brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours (D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5) are included here, and non-melanoma skin cancer (C44) is excluded. It is not possible to assess the statistical significance of changes between 2014 (observed) and 2035 (projected) figures. Confidence intervals are not calculated for the projected figures. Projections are by their nature uncertain because unexpected events in future could change the trend. It is not sensible to calculate a boundary of uncertainty around these already uncertain point estimates. Changes are described as 'increase' or 'decrease' if there is any difference between the point estimates.

More on projections methodology

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The UK mortality rate in males is lower (9%) than the European Union (126 and 139 per 100,000, respectively), but is higher (13%) in females in the UK than in the European Union (EU) (97 and 86 per 100,000, respectively).[1]

References

  1. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr accessed August 2015.
 
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The mortality rate for all cancers combined for males in the UK is lower (9%) than in the More Developed Regions (MDRs) of the world (126 and 138 per 100,000, respectively), but is higher (13%) for females in the UK than in the MDRs (97 and 86 per 100,000, respectively).[1]

The mortality rates for all cancers combined for both sexes in the UK are higher (5% in males and 22% in females) than the Less Developed Regions (LDRs) of the world (120 and 80 per 100,000 for males and females, respectively).[1]

The four most common causes of cancer death worldwide; lung, liver, stomach, and bowel cancers, are different to the most common causes of cancer death in the UK.[1]

References

  1. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr accessed August 2015.
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Cancer Statistics Explained

See information and explanations on terminology used for statistics and reporting of cancer, and the methods used to calculate some of our statistics.

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